When to start marketing your novel

Many authors know that they need to start marketing their books in order to push sales, but they don’t know when they should start that process. The answer is pretty simple: when it comes to marketing, sooner is better. 

It can seem overwhelming to try and figure out how to market a book that isn’t completely written, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Social media is a common, cheap, and easy way for authors to bring attention to their work, even before they have a draft written. Many authors choose to start building their profiles as soon as they have even the tiniest seed of a story in their head. Using the time before your story is written can be a great way to build an audience. Instead of posting about your book, you can start by sharing recommendations, your hopes and dreams, and even bits and pieces of your process. Another advantage of starting sooner is that your audience gets to know you on a more personal level and they care about your success. 

Once you have a draft down, or even just character outlines, you can start plugging your WIP regularly on your pages. You can introduce your characters with character interviews and even commissioned art if you feel so inclined. Using this strategy helps your followers connect with your characters and drives sales and preorders. 

Readers get excited for books when they have to wait a while for them. Using tactics like character interviews, quotes, book trailers, book aesthetics, and book comparisons, you can build intrigue amongst your audience. The thing about using social media to market, is that it takes time to build. You can’t force any of your posts to go viral, so you’ll likely have to build your following one single subscriber at a time. This will take time. It takes months or even years of consistently posting high quality content to gain traction, and in the process you want to make sure to make real connections and support others who are on a similar journey as you. 

When posting on various platforms, don’t be afraid to share your writing journey. Show your audience behind the scenes. Tell them about how connected you are to your characters. You can post your daily writing habits, how you get into the flow, and your style.

If you tease your book months in advance and then use a big push during release weeks you can maximize your sales during that first week which is a key factor in the lifetime performance of the book. Preorders can also be a big push toward getting your book on bestseller lists, so the more preorders the better. Using a strategy where you announce and tease your books well in advance of their release dates allows for more eyes on your book, more potential customers anticipating the release, and more preorders. 

Long story short, building a platform before you publish is generally a good idea if your goal is to make an income with your books. Don’t be afraid to post – nobody is going to judge you for marketing before your book is written. 

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